Mehdi-Georges Lahlou | Et si rien ne prend dans cette oasis | And if nothing takes in this oasis
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen - CDN Rouen - Jan Van Eyck Academie - Mucem
Solo exhibition - Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen
Et si rien ne prend dans cette oasis
November 29, 2019 – February 24, 2020
Viens-là ! January 30, 2020 from 17:00 to 21:00 (Evening-performances walk)
Like an oasis, the world of Mehdi-Georges Lahlou is a gathering place, where an ambiguous reality unfolds behind the simple façade. If the objects in this room seem familiar, it is because they confirm to the typical museum aesthetic. But this seeming proximity is an illusion: in relying on the familiarity of these well-known subjects and techniques, the artist makes an effort—and not without humor—to hijack the original meaning.
In Tawb, Mausoleum Fragment a delicate, archaeological fragment turns out to be made up of couscous grains, leading us to debate the value behind objects that have been deemed worthy of conservation. The stained glass Of the confused memory substitutes a Biblical sacrifice for an image of North African troops engaged in a conflict that doesn’t concern them at all. The Équilibre au vase takes an antique, reduced to a utilitarian object, and places it atop a noble bust, thereby inverting the hierarchy of arts.
On this fertile terrain of cultural, religious, and moral references sanctified by the museum, Mehdi-Georges Lahlou sows much doubt. He brings forth a kind of oasis, one where a hybrid consciousness—a consciousness that is more adaptable to the contradictions that make us who we are—seems adept at taking root.
Mehdi-Georges Lahlou is a Franco-Moroccan artist, born in 1983. He lives and works between Paris and Brussels. Since 2017, he was the artist associated with CDN-Normandy Rouen. Until February 24th, his works are also on display on the Musée des Antiquités.